Though geographically a single island, Ireland is divided into two separate political countries: the Republic of Ireland, which is an entirely separate nation from the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, which is a part of the UK.
Until 1921, Ireland was one undivided country, although colonized and dominated politically by the British for many centuries before that.
In 1921-22, as Ireland demanded its own sovereignty, and under pressure from the local, mostly protestant population in the north, the British and Irish authorities forced the division of Ireland into north and south. Northern Ireland remained British as part of the United Kingdom while Southern Ireland became the Free State and entered into its own year-long bloody civil war, before the eventual formation of the Republic of Ireland.
Northern Ireland constitutes six counties of a total of 32 counties in the total island of Ireland. Confusingly, Northern Ireland is also a part of the province of Ulster, which includes three counties from the Republic of Ireland.
1.Ireland is much larger than Northern Ireland.
2.Ireland is a sovereign nation and its capital is Dublin. Ireland covers about five-sixth of the island. Northern Ireland is a part of UK and its nominal capital is Belfast.
4.When comparing the religion of the two regions, the republic of Ireland is largely made up of catholics, while Northern Ireland is majority protestant, though in 2001 the mix was roughly 60/40 and moving slowly toward 50/50. Most catholics in Northern Ireland are of Irish ancestry going back many hundreds of years. Most protestants in Northern Ireland are from English or Scottish ancestry originating in the 17th Century.
5.Northern Ireland uses the British Pound as its currency, while the Republic of Ireland has opted for the Euro.
6.Ireland is governed by itself. Northern Ireland had its own virtually sovereign government until the late 1960s when Home Rule was imposed from London after civil unrest. In the early 21st Century the province regained some of its independent government, however it remains under British Sovereign law.
7. The violence in Northern Ireland during the last part of the
20th century was largely caused by Irish Republican activists who
objected to the British military presence in Northern Ireland. The
army was originally brought in to protect the catholic minority
after years of protestant Unionist control and discrimination.
However, with the civil population in turmoil, the IRA took
advantage of the political vacuum, reformed, grew quickly and began
a bombing and shooting campaign. Protestant Loyalists formed their
own para-military groups and both sides began a terror conflict,
known as The Troubles, which lasted into the late-1990s.
Northern Ireland is Part of the UK, Ireland is an independent Country
There many differences between Northern Ireland and the republic that includes:
Different police forces (The Police service of Northern Ireland & (Garda Siochana)
Different Armed forces (British Army & Irish Defence Forces)
Two separate currencies (British Pound & Euros)
Vehicle Registration plates
Media as in TV, Radio Stations and newspapers
School exams and education structure
These are just a few examples that can be expanded.
Ireland refers both to the entire island of Ireland and also what is known as the Republic of Ireland, which shares the island with Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is its own free country while Northern Ireland still comes under the jurisdiction of Britain, as part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. The "Republic of Ireland", which is constitutionally and officially called simply "Ireland", is an independent country and sovereign state.
The entire island was once "Ireland", under British rule. In 1922, 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland seceded from the Union to form its own country. The remaining 6 counties did not secede (because the majority in these counties were unionist [pro-British]) and became known as Northern Ireland.